Saying good bye – a broken heart

Gareth

My good friend G died suddenly a few days ago.

He basically dropped dead at work.

G was 36, and had just started a new & higher paying job. His plan was to work this job for a few years, save up enough, and then sail around the world.

Sailing was his passion.

Before I left for Germany to be with Martin, G graciously took me sailing on the Toronto Harbour. I had always thought that sailing was a rich person’s hobby, but G wasn’t rich and he shared his costs with me.

He bought his sail boat for $10K, and docking fees were $600 per month at the yacht club on the Toronto island (prime real estate).

Docking fees included electricity, use of the club house with showers, toilets, washing machines, Internet access, a small tuck shop, and a restaurant with weekly Friday night live entertainment. Plus a community of really interesting people who would come and go from all over the world, with lots of neat stories to share.

All that for $600?!?!?! To contrast, G was paying $1200 for rent on land, and I had been paying $500 a month to share a tiny, run down apartment with a roommate (who also paid $500).

A few months earlier I had lost a bid to buy a 1 bedroom condo that sold for $310K and would cost $500 per month of maintenance fees. šŸ˜•

Ummm…. why aren’t we ALL buying boats for $10K and then docking it at yacht clubs?!?!?! Not only would less capital be tied up, but our monthly costs would be significantly lower too. And we’d be well located in the city centre with the best views!

When we met up with G a few short weeks ago, I told him about our plans to maybe live on a sail boat. He got excited and said he was about to buy a 40ft sail boat himself, and would dock it in Toronto even though he lives in the states. He immediately offered it to us to live in. He was that nice.

*sigh*

My friend was a good man.

A good man who would always put others first, to his detriment.

I’m totally gutted by G’s death, but I also know that he didn’t take care of himself.

He died from America’s top killer: heart disease. At age 36. No longer is heart disease a Grandpa’s affliction – younger people, both men and women, suffer from cardiovascular issues too.

Luckily heart disease can be prevented AND reversed by certain lifestyle choices. And those lifestyle choices do not involve meat, dairy, and eggs.

I’m terribly sorry I couldn’t help my friend G.

Knowing he had health problems, I fully intended on coaching him to get onto a plant based diet. I was worried about him and could have really helped. I saw all the warning signs of something bad happening, but for many reasons, I didn’t or couldn’t help him.

We had lots of plans, but ran out of time.

His other friends can’t make sense of what has happened. They tell me they have stopped trying to understand.

But for me it makes perfect sense, and it makes me so MAD.

Mad that my friend G barely knew that what he was eating was killing him.

Mad that his ‘good’ job pushed him over the edge.

Mad that he can’t fulfill his early retirement sailing dreams.

Mad that he’s no longer here with us.

Mad and deeply sad.

Even though Martin and I have already quit our jobs to focus on living a healthy and happy life, it hasn’t sunken in how GOOD this choice was until now. I think it’s never a bad idea to quit a job to get things back on track health wise. In fact, it’s necessary.

Good bye G. I’m so sorry. Hope you’re sailing now, wherever you are.

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